For Immediate Release
Washington DC – May 11, 2011
Contact: (202) 547-3686
Taiwanese-Americans Disturbed By WHO Memo
Ma administration’s “international space” is illusory
The disclosure in Taiwan of an internal World Health Organization memo instructing its agencies to refer to Taiwan as “province of China” has sent shock waves through the overseas Taiwanese community.
The memo, dated September 14th 2010, states that procedures used by the WHO to facilitate relations with Taiwan were subject to Chinese approval. The memo further states that Taiwan “as a province of China, cannot be party to the International Health Regulations (IHR).”
The information in the memo stands in stark contrast to the image presented by the Ma Ying-jeou administration, which emphasized that Taiwan’s observership – started in 2009 – amounted to “substantive participation” and had come about as a result of direct negotiations with the WHO, without Chinese involvement.
FAPA President Bob Yang states in response to the revelation: “”The episode shows that the Ma administration has been deceptive, and given the Taiwan public an unwarranted rosy picture of the situation. The fact of the matter is that Taiwan’s participation is an empty shell, without any substance. This memo shows clearly the failure of the Ma administration’s policies to gain international space.”
Dr. Yang adds: “China continues to block real participation by Taiwan’s medical specialists in the WHO. This is a severe infringement on the basic rights of the Taiwanese people and a threat to the important exchange of health information through the WHO. By agreeing to Chinese demands and conditions, the WHO has violated the principle of universality for which it should stand.”
Dr. Yang concludes: “China’s motives are clear. It wants to absorb Taiwan and leave it no international space whatsoever. We do urge the United States government and other leaders in the international community to reject the imposition of such conditions and accept Taiwan as a full and equal member of the international community.”